Letter: Labour's selective principles

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The Independent Online
From Mrs Andrea Coleman

Sir: The Independent has come down heavily and certainly on the "side" of Harriet Harman (leading article, 22 January) because you feel that whatever the policies or outlook of a party, the children of the leaders of that party should not be adversely affected by those policies or that party.

But you have missed the point. To believe, as I do, in the benefits of non-selective education is to believe that those benefits will be available for all our children and that this will ultimately be to the advantage of a better educated and more competitive nation. Non-selectivity is non- negotiable. That means that if we believe in it, we send our children to non-selective state schools and we do whatever we can to make sure that their education is a success for them and for everyone else in the school. That is why I am a school governor.

Many of us could send our children elsewhere, but we do not. This is called acting on a principle and it something that was once observable in the Labour Party. The all-too-obvious point about a principle is that acting upon it may call for a little inconvenience and - worse - it may affect other people.

I am almost 50. I have supported the Labour Party through all its weaknesses and all its pathetic failures. But this is the end of that support.

Yours faithfully,

Andrea Coleman

Norton, Northamptonshire

22 January

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